Reviews | The Christmas story fills me with hope for the holidays

Holidays are important because of the stories and messages behind them

The holidays are not limited to gifts and food for some. For believers, it’s about the messages and stories behind them.

As a Christian, Christmas for me is Jesus’ birthday. Christmas is a reminder to be grateful for the sacrifices Jesus made and for all the people He put in my life to be grateful for, both in my hometown of Pella, Iowa, and Iowa City.

It is a day to remember that I believe we have a savior who sacrificed himself so that we could be forgiven for our sins. It is a reminder that I believe the love of Jesus will follow me wherever I go.

I’m graduating in less than three weeks and so far your guess of what’s to come in the future is as good as mine. Yet remembering the story of Christmas and Jesus gives me hope that the Savior is with me during this uncertain time.

It gives me hope, no matter what his plans are for me, I will eventually see them and they are better than anything I could have imagined on my own. The story of Jesus gave me hope this holiday season when I needed it most.

Jesus’ story also reminds me to be grateful during this uncertain vacation time by remembering that four years ago I was going through the same thing, graduating from high school and moving in Iowa City.

Still, Jesus was kind enough to make my college experience better than I could have ever imagined and to bless me with a support system in Iowa City that is just as great as Pella’s. Christmas is a reminder I must trust. He will do the same with everything that happens after I cross the stage.

Christians aren’t the only ones celebrating a holiday with a story behind it.

Cally Tucker, a biochemistry student at the University of Iowa and vice president of Jewish holidays for Iowa Hillel, celebrates Hanukkah this week. It is an eight-day celebration in which a new candle is lit each evening on the menorah, a candelabrum symbolic of the holiday.

“The reason we light the menorah is because there was a temple that was torn down by the Greeks and we only had enough oil to light it for a day, but instead it lasted eight days,” Tucker said. “For a lot of Jews, that means we’re still here and somehow resilient.”

Robert Weiland, a junior UI specializing in business leadership and vice president at Iowa Hillel, said Hanukkah is a joyous holiday, just like Christmas.

“[Hanukkah] is a rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after it was taken,” Weiland said.

Just as the story of the Temple is important for Chanukah, the story of Jesus is important for Christmas.

The meaning of the holidays is found in the stories that explain why we celebrate. For me, the birth of Jesus reminds me how lucky we are to have a savior who loves us so much. As one of my favorite Christmas songs said, “Hark the Herald Angels sing, glory on the newborn King”.

The columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the editorial board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations with which the author may be involved.

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